Home sha NIHSS-SAHUDA PhD Scholarships in Humanities and Social Sciences in South Africa 2020

NIHSS-SAHUDA PhD Scholarships in Humanities and Social Sciences in South Africa 2020

The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) invites applications from suitably qualified students to study full-time towards a doctoral degree in the humanities and social sciences at any of the participating South African public universities in 2020.

The main objective of this programme is to promote scholarship in the humanities and social sciences in South Africa, specifically among designated groups and Historically Disadvantaged Institutions.

Worth of Award

  • The value of the award is R140 000 in the first year. Annual renewals are subject to proof of satisfactory progress and availability of funding.


  • Only South African citizens from designated groups, with a preference to those from previously disadvantaged groups of the population.
  • Not older than 45 years of age at the time of the application.
  • Successful completion of Master’s degree; or entering the first year of PhD/doctoral study; or currently registered for PhD study in first year of enrolment.
  • Confirmation by the prospective department/supervisor of your intention to enrol for a PhD-level programme of study at a participating university.
  • Applications are invited from ALL humanities and social science disciplines, particularly those engaged in interdisciplinary research.
  • Applications are also especially encouraged from (but are not limited to) the following disciplines: Visual and Performing Arts; African Languages; African Philosophy; History; Anthropology; Economics; Heritage Studies; Education; Social Work; Indigenous Knowledge Systems; African Music and Musicology; including BRICS related research.
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Selection criteria

  • Academic merit.
  • Coherence of the proposed research project.
  • Feasibility of the project.
  • Likely contribution of the project to the body of knowledge in the field.

How to Apply


Candidates should submit the following documentation for application:

  • Online application form which is accessible through the link provided. Students are required to register on the NIHSS Grant Management System (GMS) before they can access the application Form. Application guidelines of the submission process will be available on the landing page on GMS.
  • Letter of confirmation by the prospective department or supervisor that you will be admitted to the participating university for registration for PhD study.
  • A motivation letter (not longer than one A4 page – 500 words).
  • A recent intellectual autobiography: a narrative of the major influences in your intellectual life (not longer than one A4 page – 500 words).
  • A research proposal outlining the problem statement, methodology, feasibility of your study and the contribution it will make to the body of knowledge in the particular field of study.
  • Two letters of recommendation from academics who are familiar with your work, of which one must be the supervisor of your Master’s thesis.
  • A certified copy of your full academic transcript/s.
  • A certified copy of your ID.
  • A certified copy of your Master’s degree certificate.
  • Sample copies of your best writing, e.g. a chapter from your Master’s study or any published academic work.
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Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Deadline: Application closes September 25, 2020.


Click here for more details and to apply